Evaluation Question One - Music Promo: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media real media products? Manipulating concepts and conventions established in real media products has helped the production process of my media product the flourish, specifically the use of the music video ‘21 Guns’ by Green Day. As the name suggests, the video features the use of weaponry, for example pistols to connote a violent and hazardous physical construct, a clear convention of the Punk Genre. This form has been manipulated in my media product since I utilized a chainsaw for similar effect. Using the chainsaw has given me the ability to portray a more vivid narrative as suggested by the Target audience. This is evident when considering the abstract painted art depicted on the chainsaw seeing that it is a device which has allowed me to suggest the similarities between the two objects, hence suggesting to the viewer that the main protagonists soul ha become entangled into what seems a dark abyss of terror as suggested in the lyrics, ‘he wears his heart safety pined to his bag pack, his bag pack is all that he knows’. On the other hand, the chainsaw also draws parallels to the gothic imagery associated with the genre. The mise-en-scene established in the music video also appears spacious creating a foreboding atmosphere as the viewer may not initially identify with the individual props put once accompanied by the lyrics as well as the denoted genre of Punk the meaning transfigures to a rib defined vision. The use of a mirror, television, vintage chairs and alcohol all enhance the concept of Punk since, as an entity, it suggests the publics constraints due to politics, for example the mirror connotes the idea of being watched, whilst the television suggests are passiveness to media texts. I have exploited the nature of rebellion suggested within my product however I have developed the concept to be more literal in meaning allowing the audience to identity and comprehend with each element flawlessly, for example, the nails reiterate the chaotic atmosphere and convey to the viewer that we are ‘pinned’ down by society and stereotypical absurdities. The concept is further emphasized by the use of the candles as although in the current physical construction it suggests a cult or ritual it can also have a more fluid, transcend meaning associated with faith and religion, thus suggesting the passiveness of an audience to not be able to see through the obvious behind fake political messages from fearful men. In contrast, we have decided to not use the concept of fan service within the construct as it will not only alienate any potential female audience but also challenge the notions set within other punk videos which suggest females as overly promiscuous and as sexual objects. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r00ikilDxW4
Moreover, In the Green day video a range of four figures are utilized to suggest the dynamics of the music video with two figures representing the turmoil and then unification after a ‘break-up’ with the other two figures participating in the establishment of the lyrics and synced sound. From the video, I have deduced that this perhaps is not effective as the main vocalist, Billie Joe Armstrong, although attempting to use emotive body language, appears defused from the narrative itself thus rendering the lyrics powerless. Hence In my music video, Christopher, the main vocalist is also depicted within the narrative thus suggesting a delicate significance to his persona although the target market to identify with him further. This can prove to be an efficient promotional device to sell more copies of the DVD and thus gain greater revenue. Also, as the two lovers rekindle their love the physical construct is immersed by an array of feather to convey the platonic, transcendent love, however in my music video I have utilized feathers in a mid-shot of Christopher as he stands amidst the glowing ominous candles which establishes a different concept using the same form as it suggests the character’s fear relating to the lyrics, ‘crawls like a worm, crawls like a worm from a bird, crawls like a worm from a bird’. The demented hairstyle of the main vocalist is similarly used in my music video as Christopher’s hairstyle appears chaotic and frantic which portrays his diffusion from society as well as human rights such as freedom of speech. Moreover, the main vocalist is depicted with a variety of tattoo’s giving a tribal look. Initially I also wanted to establish a similar effect however aesthetically this looked unrealistic when I experimented with the concept. Thus, to create a similar gothic feel I used a gothic watch with a stylised image of a skull which creates a more evocative composition along with the assorted wrist beads. These props challenge the general convention of the Punk Genre since the props also suggest a religious atmosphere; on the other hand religious images can enhance the appeal to the ‘emo’ audience as one of their known social gathering sites is the graveyard. At the beginning of the music video the bird and the worm the main vocalist is depicted cutting himself to.
again suggest the emo element. The element is manipulated within my music video when Christopher breaks his mask on the bird bath as the worm attempts to escape the ‘blood bath’ as well as the blood suggested on the chainsaw, although I have intentionally chosen to challenge the realistic depiction of blood in the original bird and the worm video as by making the blood appear less realistic allows the music video to have a wider appeal. Furthermore, the range of lighting used such as low lighting and side lighting create a similar effect to the flash lights and flood lights as it creates a greater atmosphere however the flash lights establish a greater sense of pace and tension for the viewer thus obeying the general convention of a Punk music video. So, my media product uses a range of developed camera angles, shots and movements from the music video ‘Animal I have become’. A high angle shot used when the figure is laying the white bed is also depicted in my media product when the character attempts to destroy his mask via hitting his head on the bird bath to suggest his vulnerability. Also flattering close-up shots are used completed with the lighting to attempt to create a more attractive image to appeal to the audience as well as create enhanced figure expression and movement. Moreover, low angle shots used to depict the band members which echo a menacing persona is also utilized within the music promo when the main vocalist is dragged to the outdoors during to the powers of the mask. The shot is used to convey a similar effect to that suggested in the music video of ‘Three Days Grace’. Similarly, the Three Days Grace, ‘Animal I have Become’ music video uses a panning shot as the character moves through the setting. In comparison, my music promo uses an angled panning shot as the main vocalist attempts to reach the bird bath to develop the form to create a more innovative feel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8UBRBYBW6U
Evaluation Question One – DVD Cover: In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media real media products? During the production of the album, the promotional package, I have utilized a range of ‘real media product’ to ensure a successful design. Some of the most influential products used are: Three Days Grace ‘Life Starts Now’; ‘One – X’; The Used ‘In love and Death’. One convention clearly visual within the Album is the use of imagery which establishes a gothic, gloomy atmosphere. This is suggested in the album art for Three Days Grace ‘Life Starts Now’ which is illuminated in a Violet and Tyrian. The color creates the required atmosphere whilst echoing the concept of Royalty. The symbolism draws parallels to the denoted image of two figures, likely to be civilians, perhaps teenagers, using baseball bats to batter televisions which ooze out the Tyrian. Another convention of the Punk Genre is the use of lyrics which offer a political, anti-establishment evocation. The idea is connoted by the vandalism of the televisions because it is a symbol of the working class’ stupidity. On the other hand it suggests the upper class’ power to manipulate our thought. These ideologies are constructed in my promotional package as an eye is established on the front cover, obviously suggesting the current predicament in society as we are constantly monitored via CCTV etc. Similarly, the form of the promotion pack draws inspiration from Three Days Grace, ‘One – X’. The color scheme is ultimately conventional. The use of crimson red and black rather establishes the foreboding atmosphere evident in the music promo video; logically I have used a similar color scheme on the front cover. Another convention apparent the above promotional packages are a modern Art theme as if to mount the album on a pedestal as art often is. Moreover, it adds to the concept of unrestricted thought as modern art tends to leave the traditional, realistic form in which art is usually created to create a more emotive piece. Evidently, one can observe the trait in Three Days Grace, ‘Life Starts Now’ through the depicted televisions that appear cracked and broken which bleed slime across the cover. The slime appears to be suggested through thick, bold streaks of paint adding the expressive, emotional element. The concept is conveyed in the promotional package I have created as the edited image of an eye as intentionally been smudged to create a similar effect apparent on the Three Days Grace Album; however I have created an ‘unfinished’ look to associate the band with a confident image as well suggest the ‘music will speak for its self’ (Amazon).
Evaluation Question Two: How effective is the combination of your main and ancillary texts? The main and ancillary texts draw parallels with each other through: form, content and context. Each product shares a common identity through the gothic form established. The form is conveyed through, the use of dark, perhaps foreboding colour. Moreover, each product has a sense of similarity to the others through the use of similar images employed. The initial music promo video utilizes sinister ideas portrayed in some scenes, for example, when the main vocalist attempts to shear the mask off his face by cracking it on a bird bath which assembles an ominous atmosphere. This ominous atmosphere seems apparent on the packaging as a photograph of the main vocalist which has been rendered using the facilities in ‘fireworks’ establishes a similar sensation. On the other hand, the advertisement shares a similar personality through the use of gory images of an eye manipulated to form the background to the ad. Synergy is further apparent as the eye can be seen on the front cover as it has been edited in a similar fashion. Also, the three products are connected through the technology used. Microsoft word and web 2.0 provided an interface to focus concepts as well as communicate to my audience via the use of networking sites: Facebook; Bebo; Myspace. I have specifically manipulated a web facility, ‘deviant art’, a site used by inspiring artists to depict their ideas. As the punk genre employs an artistic flare of sorts I made use of the forums present on the site. Each product is interlinked with the other. Hence as I have constructed the product I have implemented its characteristics in the others. However, the products, given more time, could be developed further. Personally I fell that the Music promo was rather developed as most time was spent constructing and plan the primary product. The cover for the product was constructed with far more pace hence it can be perhaps considered ‘unfinished’ although this was the desired look. Moreover I felt that the photograph used seemed to lack the sophistication present in the music promotion. Although the photos establish the gothic aura I wished they seemed pathetic compared to the scenes constructed when shooting the Music promo.
Evaluation Question Three : What have you learned from your audience feedback? To ensure that the music promo video appealed to an audience I decided to construct an initial questionnaire. As a result of the questionnaire I shall be able to develop the storyboard to certify that the music promo video will be successful. When asking the general public to fill out the questionnaires I wanted to obtain the correspondence from a range of locations: Green Park, China Town and Trafalgar square. Using a range of locations would suggest that the sample of people do not share similar traits, for example taste in music, thus my result will not be bias. Firstly, I asked by audience ‘what is your favourite genre of music?’. Luckily, I found that the majority of my audience, 60% preferred the Punk genre to all other genres; consequently this suggests that constructing a music video of this genre will appeal to a wide audience. Initially, I had expected that the video would perhaps appeal to a niche audience as on most program channels one can find a vast sum of pop videos compared to Punk videos. That observation does not hold true when considering the results to my survey as only 5% of my audience liked the pop genre. As a direct result of the conclusion drawn from question 1 I attempted to make the music video more innovative although the music video will have to draw parallels to some conventions such as the grim, foreboding atmosphere which is often depicted within music videos of the genre of Punk. The next posed question, ‘what narrative appeals to you within a music video?’, provided an expected response as 70% preferred a narrative which established a horror based narrative. This conclusion was foreseen due to the results to the previous question, on the other hand, 15% of the surveyed public preferred a narrative not suggested on the questionnaire, ‘fantasy’ hence I may briefly dip into other genres such as alternative rock which establish this narrative, for example the band Muse. Moreover, to make certain that the horror convention is conveyed in the narrative as a group we decided to film the entire narrative during the night using flood lighting to establish the ‘gothic look’ which would suggest the horror element. Fourthly, I asked the audience ‘Do you buy CD’s or do you download music?’. I assumed to find that the majority of the public downloaded their music from popular faculties such as iTunes as one is able to select the songs they wish to purchase as apposed to buying the album; moreover these programs appear more advantageous as you may purchase the songs from the comfort of one’s home. Naturally, I found that 95% of the questioned downloaded their music. Although this will not impact the music promo itself it may mean that if I construct a magazine cover I will have a brief mention of iTunes with a scene shot of the site. Question 9 asked ‘what gender are you?’. From this question I expected to see a 1:1 ratio between male and female members of the public, which was the result obtained. The result was vital in ensuring that both sexes could appreciate the music video. In addition, I wanted to be able to define the age group of our target audience. As most of the answered questions provided fruitful results I knew that the majority age group which had answered the questionnaire would be my target audience. From the survey I found that 70% of the members questioned were aged 15 – 18. I believe that this is an excellent result as this age group has the most disposable income hence one can expect that the music video will make a large revenue if put into mass production. Consequently, I also asked ‘what type of bands do you listen to?’ and I offered the audience a range of answers: 30 seconds of Mars, Green Day, Three Days Grace, Three Doors Down, Crossfade, Breaking Benjamin, My Chemical Romance and other. Once again I was comforted by the results as the majority 33% liked Three Days Grace thus its conventions had to be considered. As a result I had completed a textual analysis on Three Days Grace – Animal I have which directly ‘feed into’ the construction of the storyboard as well as the initial concept.
Furthermore, I have asked my audience some qualitative questions to further enhance the quality of the music video. I asked the audience what conventions they wished to or not be established within the music promo. Quite a few members of the public detested the use of group shots on a stage as they believed it to be a cliché. Interestingly, the majority of the public wished to observe a music promo which did not focus too much on the lyrics but merely focused on the narrative which should have a direct relation to the lyrics. As a result, the music video focused mostly on the mise-en-scene aspects of the production. From completing the music promo video I once again required audience feedback so I held a viewing of the music promo video. A great majority 95% of the people loved the music video. One described it as ‘scary, hard hitting, powerful, chilling’ whilst others said ‘scared the living s**t out of me’ which is exactly what I wished to suggest, moreover the comments suggest that I have successfully depicted the horror genre within the promo video. Nevertheless, the main aspect which had to be successful was the conveyed narrative hence I go the audience to rate the different aspects of mise-en-scene and editing: costume and setting, lighting, story(with lyrics), camera work, effects and continuity. On average the production achieved: 9 for costume, 9 for lighting, 10 story, 10 camera work, 10 for effects and continuity (each out of 10). Specifically, regarding the use of editing I asked ‘what was the most powerful visual image?’. Most of the audience liked the use of the earthquake effect which was used as the audience whished for the mise-en-scene to ‘suggest a chaotic, frantic atmosphere’ as well as ‘use editing to suggest pace’. Moreover it achieved an overall rating of 10/10 which suggests the high standard of the music promo video which is adequate as, as a media pupil I am limited to the technology I can utilize. Also, the audience feedback was given by those aged 15 – 18, the target audience which further emphasizes the success of the media promo video.
Public Opinion Music Promo ‘ Sharp, sophisticated and basically awesome. I loved the focus on the narrative which is perhaps different yet provides a new innovative look on an every-day product. The use of special effects such as the kinetic movement during the cut scenes with the main vocalist really gave me an adrenalin rush. It was simply magnificent.’ Scarlet Hill ‘A perfect example of a music video which translates the Punk Genre’ Jeremy Rajkumar DVD Cover ‘Overly gothic with a sensual artistic touch’ Andrew Nicolas Advertisement ‘A true portrayal of a Punk band. There is no attempt in manipulating the audience into buying the product just good old fashioned straight talking from some honest dudes’ Erika Vilke
Evaluation Question Four : How did you use new media technologies in the construction, research, planning and evaluation stages? The process of research, planning and construction has been fluid through the use of new technologies to create a professional appearance. I have used a variety of different programs: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Fireworks and the web facility Blogger. Initially to begin the process, I used an ‘image’ search using the facilities present on the Google search engine. This provides fruitful results as the images were relevant and insightful. The website itself had useful applications, such as a choice on image size. This tool enabled me to choose a suitably sized image to import onto a PowerPoint. Web 2.0 also assisted me when considering which font to use. The website www.fontworld.com provided a vast array of styled fonts based on a word or phase typed on a search engine. I could consider which font would be most applicable for an application on the front cover by the star system present for each font. The PowerPoint program allowed me to present my findings to the group with a level of style and sophistication using different fonts like ‘Mistral’ to establish the gothic concept. Moreover, customizing the page by using different styled ‘bullets and numbering’ along with slide layouts helped to structure the different elements of the presentation: review, denotation, connotation and conclusion. The construction of the packaging was successful through the implementation of firework. Devices such as the ‘burn tool’ allowed me to create a more rustic texture on the clothing apparent when considering clothing worn by popular band members of the Punk Genre. Moreover, the use of the ‘smudge tool’ created the artistic expressive concept affiliated with the Punk genre present when editing the eye. On the other hand, the main depicted image of Christopher was edited using a ‘glow’ function to add a ghost effect which established a similar depiction to that in Three Days Grace, ‘Animal I have Become’. The main vocalist Adam Gontier is depicted battling his inner demon conveyed as a ghost-like, animated figure.
Construction: During the filming stage a digital camcorder was used. This proved to be an effective device as it used a touch screen hence it was easier to access different segments of the filmed work, thus saving time. Also, the camera had a ‘zoom in’ function which was utilized when completing scenes involving shooting the bird bath as the location had a rather marshy floor making it difficult to manoeuvre. Furthermore, to suggest a sense of stability with the more complex shots such as the: panning shot from the bird bath to Christopher as well as the panning shot from the shed door to the microphone, a tripod was used. When editing the filmed work a facility on the Mac book, iMovieHD was used. This was simply done my using the ‘import’ function on the software to upload the footage which appeared in clip banks. From the clip banks, the segments of footage could be dropped onto a timeline and re-ordered. ImovieHD also offered a range of editing tools to use. The use of ‘titles’, present within the initial moments of the promo video created a professional look. I used the titles to display ‘1- Psychotica, The bird and the Worm’ which depicts the bands name, the soundtracks name and its placing in the charts which can commonly be scene on such channels as MTV. Other effects used was the use of the ‘ghost trail effect’, for example when the culprit placed the mask on Christopher. This helped to establish a chaotic environment when places an emphasis on the punk genre through its gothic form. This was enhanced via the use of the ‘fast motion’ effect when Christopher's hand moves frantically as he attempts to pick up the glass of paint as well as in other sections of the narrative. On the other hand, a sense of pace was established during the singing element of the music promo through the ‘earthquake’ effect which matched the beat of the sound track. Also, to speed up the process of editing the use of short-cut keys became vital such as command + T to split clips.
When creating the magazine advertisement publisher was also used for its ‘layout’ faculties which could be applied to images. This was used on the background of eye images to create different textured effects as well colour tones. Research and Planning: During the research and planning stages all of the work was presented on www.blogger.com which allowed one to upload one’s own images and videos as well as like band videos from websites like www.youtube.com through the use of the ‘embed’. Consequently, work could be saved as drafts and then be further updated when necessary which provided a flexible work surface. When planning the advertisements layout publisher was the most effective application as tools such as auto shapes allowed one to see would sort of designs could be applied in a certain area. This could be further manipulated through the use of ‘boarders’ and ‘dashes’ which meant that areas of text could me distinguished from areas of images. The animatic was constructed using ‘Movie Maker’ which, although this was more sophisticated than iMovieHD and provided a rough work surface to allow me to begin to in vision how the shots would work in sequence and consider continuity.
There are many highlights to consider with the application of digital technology:
Provides a professional look
Allows one to structure work methodically
Present Powerpoints using creativity to create a individualistic product
Constant technical difficulties e.g. safari internet connection
Blogger involves group participation hence have to wait for group members to blog items before own items can be published